The truth is, we are not above wanting to add a little sweetness to our chia pudding, overnight oats, or homemade chocolate pudding. And that’s why we do include small amounts of natural sweeteners like pure maple syrup, raw honey, and/or coconut sugar in our recipes, which are perfectly fine to have in moderation.
But even these natural sweeteners will deliver about 4 grams of sugar per teaspoon and can affect blood sugars, feed candida, and mess with our weight and our health if we use too much of them.
And that brings us back around to our topic of the day – Lakanto.
What’s so great about Lakanto?
Let’s start with the fact that Lakanto is the closest thing to taste, texture, and baking quality as regular table sugar, with none of the downsides. Lakanto is:
- Easy to use and tastes great in all kinds of baked goods (1:1 sub for sugar)
- Looks, smells and tastes like sugar
- Safe for everyone, including kids, diabetics, and those with compromised immune systems
- None of the downsides of artificial sweeteners
- No bitter taste like stevia
- Does not feed harmful yeast (candida)
- Zero glycemic index. Because your body metabolizes luo han guo differently, your blood glucose and insulin levels do not rise like they do with other sugars.
- Zero additives; made only from the natural extract of the luo han guo fruit and non-GMO erythritol.
So what the heck is this stuff and where did it come from?
Actually this is kind of a cool story. About a decade ago, a prominent business man in Japan began a quest to find a clean substitute for sugar that was NOT artificial. He owns Saraya Corporation, a company with an excellent reputation for bringing healthy products to the Japanese consumer (FYI Saraya Corporation is the Japanese leader in environmentally safe cleaning products for personal, home and commercial use). Anyway after about two and a half years of relentless experimentation, Lakanto was born.
Lakanto is the trade name for a relatively new sweetener made with just two natural ingredients: non-GMO erythritol and the sweet extract of the luo han guo (monk) fruit.
The Chinese have been using Monk fruit as a sweetener and natural remedy for years. When dried, it has a sweet toffee or caramel-like flavor, and is used in teas to ease fever, coughing and phlegm, and even digestive troubles. In fact, the Chinese call luo han guo the “longevity fruit,” because the people who live where it is cultivated often reach the ripe old age of 100!
The second ingredient, erythritol, is a sugar alcohol naturally found in some fruits, cheese, wine and beer, so it has been part of the human diet for thousands of years. Unlike other sugar alcohols like xylitol, sorbitol, and malitol used in sugar-free candies and chewing gum, the erythritol in Lakanto (made from non GMO corn), is much better because it goes through a fermentation process (versus a hydrogenation process). So unlike other sugar alcohols which often cause digestive distress such as diarrhea, gas and bloating, erythritol has none of these nasty side effects.
Though erythritol can (and is) used alone as a sweetener, it doesn’t match the taste or texture of sugar. Only when combined with luo han guo does it create an amazing replica of sugar.
Word to the wise:
One important note we want to clarify is that even with a natural sweetener like Lakanto with no calories, carbs, or side effects, it’s still really, really critical to not “over-sweeten” your baked goods, morning latte, cereal, or anything else where you use added sweeteners.
We always teach our clients to enjoy and appreciate the taste of REAL food, and only use added sugars to slightly enhance the flavor or palatability of whole foods.
That being said, if you are looking for an alternative sweetener to add to your arsenal of natural sweeteners like raw honey, pure maple syrup, or stevia, we definitely would suggest you give Lakanto a whirl. If you wind up trying it, let us know what you think.
If you are interested in an entire meal plan that is well rounded and low in added sugars, PM Meal Mastery fits the bill. It’s a simple, effective, scientifically-backed nutrition plan for post-menopausal women who want to fuel their bodies, feel their best, and live an active, engaged life.